Sales is essential to every Accounting firm. It is like workflow management. You get the information in, check it, manipulate it, question it and then file it. It’s a process that each person in your business should follow consistently and culminates with a finished project that is delivered to the client. So, how do you successfully optimize your sales process? You need to follow the four core steps of the step-by-step Accounting firm sales process - lead generation, lead management, selling and delivery. There are different strategies and techniques you can implement to improve each step.
Handled primarily by your marketing coordinator, lead generation, deals with improving your firm’s branding and lead generation activity. For branding, focus on sharpening your overall brand through marketing techniques such as writing articles, constructing case studies, adding content to your blogs and creating white papers. Prominently display your brand and great work in your office as well as on your website or other advertising channels.
Branding also plays a role in increasing your lead generation activity. Identify leads within your target market by obtaining prospect lists from webinars, referrals, social media, seminars or emails.
Have sales collect data on your generated leads and initiate contact with them. Use questionnaires to generate a client’s key financial data and input the data into a monitoring tool. Find additional opportunities for the client using the generated data as well as by researching their business.
Have your client service coordinator schedule an appointment and send the confirmation through a calendar service or electronic invitation. Make sure the client has met your pre-qualification criteria so they are the right client for your firm and target market. Double check you are meeting with all the necessary individuals, meaning every decision maker, partner and stakeholder. Without them present, you can expect to hold another meeting. Determine what you want to obtain to qualify you to move forward to the next step.
Selling involves planning and carrying out the client meeting. To move through this phase successfully, you need a plan. Your objective is to determine the client’s needs by identifying their problems and figuring out opportunities to help them fix those problems and achieve their goals. Use tools such as TRUST and PANALITIX to gain a client analysis and business performance review. Based on the data, set the agenda, include your positioning and value statements and understand the client’s buying process. Follow the 12-step meeting process to ensure you are properly prepared for the meeting.
Always book a meeting from a meeting. Write a detailed implementation plan giving different service options and pricing for the client to choose from.
Delivery, or finishing the job, is the final step of the sales process. Reach out to the client to ensure their satisfaction with all delivered services. Create a business performance review for the client and set up a future planning session. Keep an eye on various indicators such as profit improvement, cash flow forecast and asset protection.
If you have an efficient sales machine in action, then you should be receiving qualified leads that you can act on and sell to. Hold your team accountable for maintaining this process and you will be amazed by the outcomes.
About the Author
Colin DunnDirector & Co-founder at PANALITIX
Colin is a Chartered Accountant who, having spent almost 10 years with one of the fastest growing and most innovative firms in the UK, has since invested over 20 years helping business owners to improve their businesses with a focus on attracting new clients, better managing existing clients, developing new products, building an engaged team and strengthening internal business processes.
Colin's primary focus at PANALITIX is on product development and business improvement content. He is the author of the bestselling book “Accountants: The Natural Trusted Advisors".